Serious Eats

Cereal Eats: The Virtue of "UnSweet" Cereals

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

This post was inspired by a box of Erewhon Supergrains Quinoa & Chia. I've tried a few of these types: no-frills flakes with a short and healthy ingredient list sporting various virtuous grains and hardly any sugar to speak of. You would think that after my childhood of healthy cereals, I would have no patience left for these kind of flakes, or twigs, but truth be told, I'm secretly always searching for cereals I can feel good about putting into my body. Fine, Mom, you win! You did it! (Thanks.) Many of these so-called healthy cereals do have lovely additions of fruit or clusters or even cocoa, but today, we're talking about unadorned grains: the plain, and even the nearly-savory.

I believe plain and/or savory cereals most certainly have their place in the bowl. I love sweet cereals, but I can't eat them first thing in the morning, and if I'm having cereal for dinner, they serve as dessert. In fact, I rarely eat cereal for breakfast, but if I do I make sure it's something sort of plain and hearty. Oddly enough, I follow the same rule for dinner cereals.

Here is a list of some of my favorite plain/savory cereals:

Erewhon Supergrains Quinoa and Chia borders on the savory. I was drawn to the box by the mention of my nemesis, quinoa. I know the supergrain is sohotrightnow but truth is, I've been on the keen since I was a kid. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. I know you can rinse it and cook it in chicken broth and add all types of business to it, but it still always tastes like dirt to me.

The quinoa lends this cereal a lovely light, poppy texture, but the flavor wasn't necessarily my favorite—the flakes have an almost pine nut-like taste. If you want no trace of sweetness in your cereal, give this one a whirl. With a super-short and all-organic ingredient list, it's a cereal that would earn my mom's stamp of approval.

Anyone of you cereal lovers like Erewhon cereals? What are your favorite plain cereals?

About the author: Aside from doing an awesome job with her role as Advertising Sales Manager, Leandra Palermo secretly harbors a lifelong passion with all things crunchy and served with icy cold skim milk. This column represents the culmination of that love affair.

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